The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its downstream subsidiary, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), blamed the sudden fuel queues experienced in filling stations in Lagos to the ongoing construction of Apapa road and its associated traffic gridlock.
PPMC has also said it has over 32 days ample stock of petroleum products available for supply across the nation during the yuletide and beyond, while additional vessels have arrived Lagos port.
Long fuel queues have resurfaced in filling stations across Lagos State, with motorists and other users of petroleum products passing through difficult times to get products.
While some marketers blame the development on the devaluation of the naira, which has affected their capacity to raise foreign exchange for importation of products, others attributed the tightening supply to logistics problems experienced recently at the North Oil Jetty (NOJ) at Apapa, where imported cargoes of petroleum products berth.
Investigation has however revealed that most depots in Lagos are wet with petroleum products.
We learnt that a vessel laden with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), otherwise called cooking gas, from the Bonny Island plant of the Nigerian LNG Limited in Rivers, which berthed at the NOJ in Apapa to supply LPG to marketers, overstayed and prevented imported petrol cargoes from berthing.
This development, idisrupted the smooth supply of petroleum products to the Lagos depots.
It was learnt that marketers such as Total, Conoil, NIPCO and other major marketers, which receive products from the NOG had to wait for the LPG vessel to leave the jetty before other imported cargoes would berth.
“Though the situation has been addressed, when there is such dislocation in supply, it takes quite sometimes for the situation to normalize,” said one of the marketers.
But the Group General Manager in charge of the Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Mr. Ohi Alegbe said in a statement that the market was robust with premium motor spirit (PMS), also known as petrol and enjoined motorists in Lagos and its environs not to engage in panic buying.
He stated that the noticeable queues in some filling stations in Lagos are attributable to panic buying caused by reduced truck- out of PMS from the private depots in Apapa area of Lagos due to the gridlock created by the ongoing road construction in Apapa.
NNPC urged marketers affected by the Apapa road construction to load their petroleum products from its inland depot in Mosimi so as to support the “zero tolerance to fuel queues” policy across the country.
It appealed to marketers to immediately commence loading from the PPMC Mosimi depot to cover for the shortfall from Apapa.
The statement also advised marketers to desist from hoarding or diversion of petroleum products as any marketer caught in the nefarious act would be sanctioned.
The NNPC also used the opportunity to call on the general public to avoid panic buying of petroleum products as adequate measures have been put in place to wet the nation with PMS in order to ensure hitch-free transportation of goods and services during the yuletide period and beyond.